Grays Harbor County, Washington

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*[http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Collections/TitleInfo/226 Grays Harbor Frontier Justice] Part of ''“Frontier Justice”: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889'' at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)  
 
*[http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Collections/TitleInfo/226 Grays Harbor Frontier Justice] Part of ''“Frontier Justice”: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889'' at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)  
**Includes court actions arising from criminal accusations, estate (probate) and property disputes, debt collections, and other matters brought to the court.
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**The court procedures of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of the Washington Territory. The index has many abstracts that provide names and what is happening in disputes, settlements in civil and criminal cases as well as probate, equity and admiralty cases.
**The names in the index often reveal a “who’s who” of Washington Territory, but in a greater sense the abstract sheds light on the affairs, disputes, settlements, crimes, and forms of justice that touched nearly every inhabitant of territorial Washington.
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==== Directories  ====
 
==== Directories  ====

Revision as of 23:52, 21 January 2014

United States Gotoarrow.png Washington Gotoarrow.png Grays Harbor County
Trawler launched 1950 on the Hoquiam River, Grays Harbor County, WA


Guide to Grays Harbor County, Washington genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records, since 1854, when the county was formed as Chehalis County.

County QuickStart:


800px-Flag map of Washington.svg.png Washington
Online Records
Grays Harbor County, Washington
Map
Map of Washington highlighting Grays Harbor County
Location in the state of Washington
Map of the U.S. highlighting Washington
Location of Washington in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 27, 1907
County Seat Montesano
Courthouse
Address Grays Harbor County Courthouse
102 West Broadway Room 203
Montesano, WA 98563
Phone 360.249.3842
Grays Harbor County Website

Contents

County Overview


Parent County(s)

Parent County: created in 14 April 1854 as Chehalis County from Thurston. Renamed to Grays Harbor County 15 March 1915.[1]


Boundary Changes

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[3]

Neighboring Counties

See also Towns and Communities in Grays Harbor County, Washington

Grays Harbor CountyMason CountyThurston CountyPacific CountyLewis CountyPierce CountyKitsap CountyKing CountySnohomish CountyJefferson CountyGrays Harbor.JPG

Courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse
102 West Broadway Room 203
Montesano, WA 98563
Phone 360.249.3842

County Clerk has probate, divorce and court records from 1860.
County Auditor has marriage records from 1891.
County Assessor has land records from 1855.
County Health Department has birth and death records. [4]

See also Archives, libraries, etc. in Grays Harbor County, Washington.

  • County Seat: Montesano [5].

See also Archives, libraries, etc.

Dates of Major County Records

Beginning dates for major county records[6]
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
Court
1891*
1855*
1891*
1855
1857
1884
* For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
Record Loss

Topics for Grays Harbor County, Washington

The topics or headings on this page describe records that are used for genealogy and family history. They include links to web sites with indexes, images, or information about the county.


Bible Records

 

Biography

Biographical information is often found in state and local histories or genealogies. See also Washington Biography.

Business and Commerce

 

Commercial fishing, the lumber industry were major industries historically. Tourism is more recent.

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information. Tombstones, sextons (caretakers) records, and burial records each have slightly different information. See Washington Cemeteries.


Grays Harbor County, Washington cemeteries from state and national resources
Online County-wide Name Searches
Published Grave
Transcripts
Lists of Cemeteries
(Several will also link to names)
FindAGrave (Add a name to the search) FamilySearch Library Click Cemeteries. Press space bar to select town FindAGrave
WA State Archives - Digital Collections Click any cemetery for search window, select county, enter name(s). World Cat Interment.net
Billion Graves Switch to "Person Lookup" Washington Periodicals Washington State Digital Archives Put county name in Search box
City of Hoquiam Interment Records. Links to PDF. Linkpendium
Billion Graves
USGenWeb Tombstone Project
Genealogy Trails
See Washington Cemeteries for details about these and other sites.

Census

Federal Census Contents
Names, ages, birthplaces 1850–1940
Birthplaces of parents 1880–1940
Relationships 1880–1940
Family and Neighbors All years
Immigration year 1900–1930
Citizenship 1910–1940

Censuses 1) Give names, ages, and more about the family; 2) Pinpoint the area to find other records; and 3) Provide clues for further research.


Church Records

The information church records provide depends upon the church practices and the record keepers. Records may include names, ages, and dates of events such as baptism, marriage, or burial. See Washington Church Records.

  • Church records (microfilmed originals or published transcripts) for Grays Harbor County, Washington are listed in the FamilySearch catalog. (Press space bar to select town.)

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Montesano

Court Records

Your ancestors may be found in court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can clarify family relationships, places of residence, occupations, and family history. See Washington Court Records for courts used through the years.

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For specialized court records, see Divorce  · Guardianship  · Land  · Naturalization · Probate

  • Grays Harbor Frontier Justice Part of “Frontier Justice”: Guide to the Court Records of Washington Territory, 1853-1889 at Washington State Digital Archives. (Free Index, no images)
    • The court procedures of Frontier Justice touch nearly all pioneers of the Washington Territory. The index has many abstracts that provide names and what is happening in disputes, settlements in civil and criminal cases as well as probate, equity and admiralty cases.

.

Directories

 

Emigration and Immigration

 

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

American Indian
Japanese

World War II Files, 1942-1946

Public Welfare/Social Security Department, (Japanese Internment) Assistance Cases, Evacuee Referrals for Resettlement and Assistance, 1945-1946 from the Washington State Archives – Digital Archives

Funeral Homes

 

Gazetteers

 

Genealogy

Many local libraries and societies have collections of family genealogies. County histories or biographies often include brief genealogies of the featured persons.

A FamilySearch Community Tree is available for this place.

Guardianship

Guardianship of orphans or adults unable to manage their own affairs were handled by the probate and the District courts. See Washington Court Records.

Guardianship of orphans or adults unable to manage their own affairs were handled by the probate and the Federal District courts. See Washington Court Records.

History

Local histories for Grays Harbor County, Washington may include biographies, history of churches, schools, local government with names of officials, military information, and more. See Washington Local Histories.

History Timeline

Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library[7]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Wilma, David. Grays Harbor County -- Thumbnail History, History Link.org Essay 7766.

  • The original residents of what would become Chehalis, then Grays Harbor County, were members of the Quinault Tribe.
  • 1787 - The largest village in the area was at the mouth of the Quinault River and was so named.
  • 1792 - May 7, Boston fur trader Robert Gray crossed the bar into the bay he called Bullfinch Harbor, but which later cartographers would label Chehalis Bay, then Grays Harbor.
  • 1824 - Irishman John Work of the Hudson's Bay Company explored the area.
  • 1800s (mid) - The county’s first permanent white settler was Irishman William O’Leary.
  • 1853 - March 2, U.S. President Millard Fillmore establishes Washington Territory.
  • 1907 - February 27, Grays Harbor County was founded.
  • Early 1900s - Grays Harbor County boomed. Immigrants from all over the world flocked to jobs offering cash wages.
  • 1920s - The wood-products industry -- logging, milling, and pulp manufacture -- started a long, slow decline.

Land and Property

Land Records reveal
Yes or Maybe  Y  M
Seller (Grantor) Green check.png  
Seller's Spouse Green check.png  
Buyer (Grantee) Green check.png  
Heirs   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Land Description and Dates Green check.png  
Tips -or- Land Contents

Land records (especially deeds) may give the name of a spouse, heirs, and witnesses, who may be relatives or in-laws.

County deeds, mortgages, and leases show transfers from person to person. See also Court Records for actions involving real estate. See Washington Land for government-to-person records.

Maps

 

Wagraysharbor.jpg
This map highlights the county within the state of Washington. The map soon will have inter-active links. Area map and other information from 1895:

http://www.livgenmi.com/1895/WA/

The BLM also has Cadastral and other survey information at Oregon and Washington Land Status and Cadastral Record, please note this is separate from the survey dropdown on the main glorecords.blm.gov page.

Migration

Most residents came to Washington from other states or crossed the border from Canada. (See Seattle Passenger Lists for those who came from other countries.) Although few other migration records exist, try:

Censuses (use birthdates and places of children as clues)
Land (1st deed may reveal previous residence)
Death-related records of children may give town or county of birth
• Records of relatives and neighbors

Military

 

Some military records for this county have been digitized at the Washington State Digital Archives.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Declarations of Intent before 1906 often include the nation of origin, his* foreign and "Americanized" names, residence, and date of arrival. See Washington Naturalization and Citizenship for more information.     *Women were not naturalized until 1922 in the United States.

  • County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982. at Washington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Included in this collection: Petition records, Petition index, Petition records index, Naturalization certificate receipts, Journal of Citizenship, Journal of Citizenship index, Delectation of Intention, Delectation of Intention Index, and Application & Oaths.
  • Declarations of Intention, 1884-1971 Washington State Archives. These records include both an index and images to Declarations on Intention, Vol 1-20, 32 filed with Grays Harbor County Superior Court, between 1884-1971.

Newspapers

Small town newspapers provide historical content and contain obituaries, birth or death notices, legal notices, and community news, such as visits to or from out-of-town relatives. See Washington Newspapers for tips, resources, and details.

Finding More Washington Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Grays Harbor County, Washington newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries

Obituaries may mention birth, marriage, spouse, parents, living family members, education, occupation, and more. See Washington Obituaries for state level collections and United States Obituaries for tips and insights.

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See also: NewspapersLibrariesSocietiesFuneral Homes • Obituaries of neighboring counties or of the person's previous residence • Family records.

Also check:

Periodicals

 

Probate Records

Probate records identify heirs of the decedents, give the (approximate) death dates, and provide specifics about property holdings. The records were kept by the county judge.

These include wills, inheritance records, dockets, and other documents regarding property and estates of individuals who have died. See also Court Records for civil actions involving estates. Also see Washington Probate Records.

  • Probate Case Files, 1832-1950 Part of Washington, County Probate Case Files, 1832-1950 ] Part of: Washington County Records 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Record of wills 1884-1929 and Index to wills 1860-1930.

Public Records

Public records are documents created by civil authorities that either don't fit comfortably in another topic, or that could fit in several topics.

School Records

 

  • School Registers are arranged by grade and gives names, ages, attendance. School Censuses include names, birth dates, parents or guardians.

Taxation

Washington tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Washington Taxation.

Vital Records

The county auditors in Washington kept records of birth, marriage, and death. The county clerk has the divorce records - the earliest dates to the present.

See Washington Vital Records for details and history of the records. . See also How to order Washington Vital Records, order electronically online or download an application for Washington Birth or Death Certificate and Marriage or Divorce Certificate Applications to mail.

Birth
Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Parent's Ages   Green check.png
Parents' State or Country of Birth Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians, and midwives were to "return" births and deaths to the county auditor. Many went unrecorded. In 1907, the State Center for Health Statistics assumed this responsibility.[8]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Birth Records.

Aberdeen City Clerk, Birth Register, 1890-1907 at Washington State Digital Archives

  • Birth Records 1891-1930 Part of: Washington, County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Birth register 1891-1930 and Birth returns index 1891-1907.
  • Birth register 1891-1908 Part of the Washington County Records, 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections. (Free, browse images) These records were filed under Chehalis, now Grays Harbor County.

Template:WA Birth Tips

Marriage
Marriage Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Date of Marriage or License Green check.png  
Names of Bride and Groom Green check.png  
Ages Green check.png  
Birth Places Green check.png  
Residences Green check.png  
Names of Parents   Green check.png
Husband's Occupation   Green check.png
Witnesses Green check.png  
Minister or Officiator Green check.png  

Marriage records include certificates, marriage returns, license applications or affidavits. Counties kept the records until 1968, when the state took over.


ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Marriage Records.

  • 1893-1922 Part of: County Records, 1856-2009 FamilySearch Historical Collections (free)
Divorce
Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Parent's Ages   Green check.png
Parents' State or Country of Birth Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians, and midwives were to "return" births and deaths to the county auditor. Many went unrecorded. In 1907, the State Center for Health Statistics assumed this responsibility.[8]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Birth Records.

Divorce records give the names of the parties and may give the date and place of their marriage. See Washington Vital Records for excellent information.

Death
Death Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Deceased Green check.png  
Death Date and Place Green check.png  
Age or Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name Green check.png  
Name of Spouse   Green check.png
Residence Green check.png  
Occupation Green check.png  

In 1891, coroners, physicians and midwives were to report (or return) all births and deaths under their supervision to County Auditors. On July 1, 1907, the State took over....[9]

ArrowGreen.svg.png
See Washington Online Genealogy Records for indexes.
Also see Washington Death Records.

  • Death Records1891-1937 Part of: Washington County Records 1856-2009 at FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • See what genealogical information may be in these records.
    • Includes Coroner's record 1905-1937; Death register 1891-1907 and Death returns 1891-1907.

A transcribed death certificate may contain such information as name of the deceased, date and place of death, age, gender, birth date and birth place, mother’s maiden name and name of spouse, place of residence, occupation and certificate numbers.

Voting Registers

 

Websites



Sites with online indexes or images of records:

Sites that search the Internet for Grays Harbor County, Washington records online:

Links to major catalogs for offline collections of Grays Harbor County, Washington
Indexes, books, or microfilm of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find libraries near you that have items of interest, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library (Indiana)  
See also local libraries and Washington Archives and Libraries

Archives, Libraries, etc.

  See also a List of Washington Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Resources for Grays Harbor County, Washington are available in libraries, archives, and other repositories at all levels: the town, the county, the state (including universities), and the nation.

Family History Centers


Libraries

Local public libraries—even smaller ones—often have Unique Genealogical Collections that are not online for the area they serve. Many libraries in Washington have an area dedicated to local history and genealogy.


Museums

 

Societies

 

Towns and Communities

See a list of towns and communities in Grays Harbor County per Wikipedia.

References

  1. The Evolution of Washington Counties by Newton Carl Abbott, pg 41.
  2. http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/documents/WA_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm#GRAYS%20HARBOR Atlas of Historical County Boundaries] by Newberry Library.
  3. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Grays Harbor County, Washington page 733, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 733-734. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  7. John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.
  8. Washington State Archives - Digital Archives, Birth Records, About this Collection
  9. About Death Records at Washington State Digital Archives.